Fighter jet crash in San Diego

  • #26
FredGarvin
Science Advisor
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10 miles in an F-18, even with one engine operable is not a big distance. Andre, how did you guys calculate your final approach distances?

Did this pilot underestimate the trouble with the second engine? If so, I can't imagine a twin engine aricraft with one engine out being a "land ASAP" situation. I would believe that it would be a "land as soon as practical" scenario (assuming one good engine) which is not the same thing. Maybe the fixed wing guys don't have that decision to make.

No doubt about it though...a bad decision.
 
  • #27
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I had a neighbor in San Diego who had this one go right over his house as it was crashing.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/7/7b/W780925-1.jpg/230px-W780925-1.jpg [Broken]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PSA_Flight_182

Still shaken by the event a few years later, he said that he could see the terror on the faces of the people in the windows as it went over.
blah, I feel sick after reading that wiki page :frown:
 
Last edited:
  • #28
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10 miles in an F-18, even with one engine operable is not a big distance. Andre, how did you guys calculate your final approach distances?
True, 2-3 minutes flying, however coming from the south he was already on long finals while for homebase he had to fly an additional 6-10 miles to a final approach fix some 6-10 miles out at the extended centerline of the runway. That is 6 miles in The Netherlands (tight) and 10 miles in the USA. So all in all it would have taken 7-10 minutes longer,

Did this pilot underestimate the trouble with the second engine? If so, I can't imagine a twin engine aricraft with one engine out being a "land ASAP" situation. I would believe that it would be a "land as soon as practical" scenario (assuming one good engine) which is not the same thing. Maybe the fixed wing guys don't have that decision to make.

No doubt about it though...a bad decision.
The excess power of the F404 engine is not something to cheer about. You simply don't have the autority to do much with one engine out. Also you never know for sure why one engine is out and you loose all redundancy in electrical/hydraulical systems, only one generator/pump left. Therefore SOP = land as soon as possible (not 'practicable'), at least it was in my days.
 
  • #29
mgb_phys
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Andre,
Is there a general SOP that takes into account where you are?
Like just pointing the plane out to sea and pulling the big red lever.
It wastes a $50M aircraft and ejecting isn't exactly pleasant for the pilot but if it avoids putting a fuel (and potentially weapon) loaded aircraft into the middle of a city.
 
  • #30
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
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from the article I cited,
It's difficult to determine the pilot's precise location from the tapes, but he reported his position as 20 miles south of Coronado, flying at 13,000 feet with 20 to 30 minutes of fuel remaining, less than a minute before he was asked by controllers if he wanted to land at Coronado, according to the recordings.
The pilot was about 20 south of Coronado over the ocean, and that is 30 miles south of Miramar, which is 10 miles north of Coronado.

He should have put in at Coronado, which is on the water. He didn't need to fly over a residential area, and he could have landed before the second engine quit.
 
  • #31
191
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Hmmm... he has an engine out with the option to land at a closer airport and decides to take it over a residential neighborhood? If this is the case I hope he gets some serious prison time... decades not months.
 
  • #32
LowlyPion
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But in the simulators no one gets killed when they eject over suburban neighborhoods.
 
  • #33
Vanadium 50
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We should place blame in the right place. Or places. The pilot was instructed by his squadron commander to land at Miramar, as the runway there is longer. The fact that there were problems in the fuel transfer system were known in July, and the aircraft flew 146 more flights without it being rectified.
 

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